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Issue of May 2005 

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Case Studies

How India Inc. manages customer relationships

Here’s how Refco-Sify and iSeva use CRM to manage their client relations. by Deepali Gupta

Trading CRM

Executive Summary

Managed relations

Refco-Sify and iSeva have managed to craft their own CRM implementation successes. An examination of the path followed.

Power pill

The keys to CRM success are planning and execution followed by extensive user training. Measurement, review and tweaking of the solution have to be done on an ongoing basis once this phase is over.

Refco-Sify Securities India is an online portal and offline trading company whose transaction volumes run into several crores every day. A combination of its homegrown system and the Microsoft CRM helps Refco-Sify manage interactions with its clients.

The Need

The trading platform is available to the customer over the Refco-Sify Website and through its floating sales force. As a trading organisation, Refco-Sify also considered it important to address customer queries. The company has a customer service desk that can be approached via e-mail or phone.

With multiple channels of access and a wide range of actions available to the customer, tracking transactions with every individual was difficult using Excel or Outlook. Besides, customers began to expect the kind of response that top-notch BPOs offer. To address this need, Refco-Sify considered a CRM solution. It concluded that a combination of its homegrown system and the Microsoft CRM would work best.

The solution

The goal was to address the high attrition rates at its customer service desk, and provide a consolidated view of interaction history for each client. To deal with attrition, Refco-Sify put a knowledge centre in place. This way, customer history is available to an employee answering a phone call or query. The rep has all answers to issues raised by the customer. The advantage of this pproach is that every time a new person joins the team, he does not have to go through any major training. Every interaction with a client is fed into the system, so no matter who approaches the client, there is no missing link. The company doesn’t use analytics, but the roll-out of consolidated computer analysis based on client information is just few months away.

The service

The IT team headed by Manoj Chandiramani, Vice President - Networks, manages the CRM set-up. The Microsoft CRM solution deployed at Refco-Sify is still being customised.

The training

We started with a training programme, but people almost told us that they did not need training to use Outlook
Manoj Chandiramani,
Vice President - Networks

Refco-Sify chose Microsoft CRM partly because its interface resembles that of Outlook and Excel, ensuring that the learning curve for the average employee is not too steep. “We started with a training programme, but people almost told us that they did not need training to use MS Office products,” says Chandiramani.

People have raised issues about the security of Outlook, but according to Chandiramani, it is not an issue. The Microsoft CRM application has a single super user who can access logs and general system information and manage the system. For end-users there are agent logins that have distinct role definitions for the extent of permitted access
based on the individual, group or organisation.

The benefits

The result of the CRM deployment, even before the analytical part, has been satisfying for Refco-Sify. Here are the advantages of the system, according to Chandiramani:

Quality monitoring: Any manager can randomly take a client trail, and question a sales person regarding his actions.

Less training time: Every time a person leaves the organisation and is replaced by a new employee, no special IT training or dedicated sessions for the newcomer are required.

Professionalism: Agents handle customers in a professional manner as there is no communication gap.

Knowing the pulse of customers: The company can capture the thought process of customers and provide customised services. For example, if a person does not want to be called on the cell phone, and wants to interact only by mail, then the CRM software warns the tele-caller before he calls the client.

Business process reengineering: Based on the feedback collected and to ensure that the solution is integrated and used optimally in the organisation, Refco-Sify has redesigned some of its processes. Among them are some forms that required too many customer signatures and were cumbersome. It has made life easier for the company and its customers.

Bottom line: According to Chandiramani, Refco-Sify’s turnover has increased by several times since the implementation of the CRM, and some credit goes to the new system.

Deepali Gupta can be reached at

In BPO land

iSeva provides BPO services—inbound customer care, outbound customer acquisition, and transaction and data processing—to mortgage, banking and high-technology firms. It chose a Talisma solution with chat, e-mail and phone interfaces to spruce up customer service metrics and enhance business relationships.

The need

Founded in 1999, the company was acquired by the e4e Group in 2004. Among their prized customers is a security software solutions provider that iSeva deems as critical to its business. While renewing its contract with this client, the company wanted to deliver better service metrics to enhance its business relationship. To provide these client-specific services, iSeva needed a robust CRM solution.

The solution

The aim was to have mechanisms and process enablers to record customer feedback, ensure routing and follow-up of “open” requests and escalate provisions for unattended or priority requests. The system was required to accept inputs through e-mail and phone. The organisation was also looking at chat as a channel to support customer requests.

The Talisma solution that iSeva chose provides it with chat, e-mail and phone interfaces. Irrespective of the medium chosen to contact the company, the CRM application shows all previous interactions. It provides reports for monitoring operational effectiveness, for instance, reports on agent, skill and group productivity.

The service

Krishna Kumar, Head, Tech-nology Management, iSeva Systems says, the vendor tailors services to the needs of iSeva and follows a best practices-based project-implementation methodology. Talisma provided for a simplified deployment:

  • Business vertical analysts
  • Technical analysts
  • Implementation project managers
  • Best-practices consultants

The Talisma Product Support team also services the CRM framework at iSeva.

The training

Any new technology roll-out involves planning. “At iSeva, our key to successful migration is to do a phased roll-out,” says Kumar. The deployment at iSeva has been planned to ensure that the initial “teething” issues do not create a large-scale impact, and shortcomings from the initial roll-out are circumvented as the operations scale up.

Fortunately for the company, the user interface of the CRM it deployed is user-friendly and its interfaces resemble those of other software the staff was already familiar with. This meant that the staff got acquainted and began using the software in a matter of days.

The benefits

iSeva does not wish to disclose the financial figures related to the project. However, it believes that the investment was worthwhile. “The solution gave our Customer Service Agents (CSAs) the tools necessary to provide timely, relevant and accurate responses,” says Kumar.

To the company, this meant:

  • Improved first-time resolution rates, which lead to customer satisfaction
  • Reduced operational costs as CSAs spend less time searching through volumes of disparate data to provide timely and accurate responses to customers
  • Improved agent efficiency by providing a contextual, multi-channel customer interaction history, enabling CSAs to quickly and accurately leverage corporate knowledge assets to help the customer
  • Capability to evolve with market needs due to reporting capabilities and metrics based on e-mail interactions the organisation has had with customers

- Deepali Gupta

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